Women’s clothing has always been more geared for slim women. But that is certainly changing in the current world. Yet what if you want to dress up as they did at the turn of the previous century? The dresses back then looked fabulous and the design seemed ingenious with Intricate beading, elegant lace, and flowing chiffon. If you want to have a good idea of what clothing was like for women in the 1910s then watch James Cameron’s Titanic. The dresses which Rose wears are pretty accurate to what was the style back then for women. But what if plus-sized women want to wear those dresses? Is it even possible? Yes of course.
While back then women’s dresses weren’t made keeping plus-sized women in mind, but the nature of dresses back then will fit plus-sized women now. Just look at Molly Brown from Titanic! Also, it’s possible now to tailor or alter those dresses a little to fit any figure.
What was the staple dress for women in the 1910s?
The fashion of that decade was dominantly characterized by big hats, fluid dresses, and short hair. The dress length was above-the-ankle and women wore tunics over the long skirt too. Skirts were wide and then became narrow as they reached the ankle. This was considered an S-shaped dress. The emphasis was on the woman’s bust, which certainly seems to echo the predominant styles that had been a feature in the previous decade. The ball gowns were all-natural silhouettes heavy, but they looked soft. But later on, the skirt tapered out at the bottom and an empire waist style began to emerge soon.
The emergence of the oriental trend
A very important development that was taking place during the first decade of the 20th century was an unprecedented rise in Orientalism. This was primarily attributed to the performance of a ballet called Schéhérazade by The Ballet Russes. The craze that it sets off was wielded and popularized by Paul Poiret. He designed the gown and dresses which had draped fabrics, column-like silhouette, and very vibrant colours. Poiret even introduced the harem pantaloons when 1911 came along.
These were ballooning-trousers which took a lot of daring to wear. Poiret didn’t stop here. The first half of the new decade was dominated by his styles. He invented the hobble-skirt that narrowed down at the skirt bottom. This made it difficult for women to walk in it. Poiret also made loose chemise-dresses which didn’t need a corset or any rigid undergarment. The dressing style changed drastically after the first world war but the effects of that were seen later in the 20s on dresses.
Right 1910 dresses according to body types
The first step to wearing a dress from that early decade is to ensure that it fits your body type. So here’s what you need to keep in mind when you are buying Edwardian or Victorian style dresses:
- Pear-shaped: A pear-shaped body will have curvy thighs and hips, narrow shoulders with a very voluptuous derriere. So essentially, the upper body will be smaller than the lower part. Gown S-shaped dresses from the 1910s are made for this body type. The emphasis of those dresses is on the upper part and hips with the long dress falling to the ankles. So you will be able to flaunt your assets well.
- Apple-shaped: If you have an apple-shaped body then you will have a fuller middle, less-defined-waist, and full breasts. Your waist will be thicker and your hips slender. Your tummy can make you feel self-conscious, but that’s no reason to worry. A plus-sized 1910s gown dress will accommodate the tummy area so that you will be able to flaunt your legs and hips.
- Hourglass figure: This is the body-type which is the most well known. Plus-sized women with this body type won’t find dresses from 1910s hard to wear at all. The S-shaped dresses from that time will work well to accentuate your assets so that you can show them off well. Women with this body type have a slim waist, thick thighs, big hips, and a full bust.
- Rectangular figure: Women with this body type have a straight body-line and straight hips. Even plus-sized women will be able to wear Victorian dresses with ease.
Accessories to go with 1910s dresses
The dress styles work wonders, it’s paired with some great accessories. It will make you look stylish band glamorous. Here are some accessories that you can use with your 1910s dress.
- Shoes: Back then shoes had curved and high heels. Flats weren’t the rage back then when it concerned evening wear. But women did wear boots during the day before changing into a court-shoes during the evenings.
- Coats: Coats were certainly helpful during the cold, but more importantly, they acted as a sign of aristocracy and wealth. The better looking and fur-coated the coat, the more wealth you had. Women generally wore ankle-length coats which were fur-trimmed. These coats with floppy collars also went well with the ankle-length dresses. Some very fashionable women added feather boas with their coat as well.
- Hats: Do you remember the first shot of the young Rose in Titanic? She looks up from underneath her wide-brimmed beautiful that was decorated using silk flowers. Those kinds of big hats were very popular. These had a large brim and came in various designs with huge silk bows and bands. The more elaborate it was, the more fashionable it was considered.
The predominant dress style of this time was soft and emphasized the natural silhouette. The dress focused on the upper body and fell to the ankles. So for plus-sized women who are worried about heavy upper bodies or lower ones, there is nothing to worry about. You can emphasize both parts of your body well with this dress style. If you feel self-conscious about your legs, then the natural soft silhouette of the dress that doesn’t cling to the legs will certainly put you at ease. If you feel conscious of your upper body, then you can alter the sleeves to adjust your body type. It will still look amazing. So go out there and have fun in your Titanic-themed of Downtown Abbey themed party.